Depression and comfort.

I guess most of my true friends know by now. My not-so-true friends are probably oblivious of the fact. Anyhow, I am depressed and that is an emotion that is difficult to handle. It is also an emotion, or state of mind, I happen to be very familiar with. The reasons for depression are not that interesting. Obviously it has to do with the challenges in life that, although I am living in the ‘rich’ west, are too big for me too handle. A bad economic position and the fact that in my life I am the only one and there is no other one are the foundation of my depressive state.

What a lot of people do not seem to understand is that people fighting a depression are not seeking pitty or anyhting like that. Just accepting the fact that some people are not ‘the lucky ones’ and not ‘the happy ones’ in life would be quite enough. But as I said, that is something a lot of people are not able to accept somehow. They are continuously trying to ‘support’ the one with a depression by saying that life is not that bad and things will really get better. Well, my friends, that simply won’t sink into the minds of the depressed. There is however a simple way to prevent that emotional blockade that pushes people down instead of lifting them up: simply acknowledge the hardship. I for one cannot remember that any person at any instant on his or hers own instance told me that it is true that my life is a shambles and it is understandable that I feel bad about that. And that is where the problem lies. The root cause of feeling un-understood.

It’s not man’s mind to tell someone who is feeling bad that it in fact really is bad. People want to help in words (but usually not in acts though) and that is nice but at the same time that help is in reality making things worse. Because words fade away quickly. And saying that things ain’t half that bad is at the same time saying that the true emotion of the other is not true but an exaggeration of their situation. Statements like that are just making clear that the depressed is not to be taken seriously.

Depression is a very personal pathological state of mind. Not to be taken lightly because it can be quite dangerous. Believe me, I know. Been there, done that, didn’t ‘succeed’. So it is not to be shoved aside easily. And to be perfectly honest, in my experience it’s only really understood by people who in their own life have experienced depression. They are the ones who do usually not try to lift the others mind with words without a body. Because one thing depressed people do is use their words to express the reality of their life carefully and mostly strongly. Words with bodies, no empty words. No empty lines. No walls in between feelings and expression. Like artists. Because emotions are in fact the only real things in life. The rest that you see, hear of say is artificial.

So please, dear friends, never ever try to comfort me when I feel bad. Just give me space. Allow me to feel how I feel, no matter what you might think of it. Some people are angels of darkness, accept them for what they are. Rest assured, I’ll fight my way out of it somehow. And the day I won’t be able to win is the day I will not survive. And that is not a loss but a victory. A victory I often long for. One day I will have vanished into the great nothing (Taoists or Pooh readers might understand this).

Alice © 2012

The Great Nothing according to Chuang-tse:

Consciousness wandered North to the land of Dark Waters and climbed the Unnoticeable Slope, where he met the Speechless Non-Doer.  “I have three questions for you,” Consciousness said.  “First, what thoughts and efforts will lead us to understanding the Tao?  Second, where must we go and what must we do to find peace in the Tao?  Third, from what point must we start and which road must we follow in order to reach the Tao?  Speechless Non-Doer gave him no answer.

Consciousness traveled South to the land of the Bright Ocean and climbed the mountain of Certainty, where he met the Impulsive Speech-Maker.  He asked him the same three questions.  “Here are the answers,” Impulsive Speech-Maker replied.  But as soon as he started to speak, he became confused and forgot what he was talking about.


2 thoughts on “Depression and comfort.

  1. Dear Alice,

    I’m Daniela, the wife of Nidhi. I heard about you from Nidhi, and she let me read this blog. I just want to tell you that I can understand your reason of depression, life in general is not easy, everyone fight their own battles. And also everyone get now and then depressed, that’s normal. And it’s good that you tell your friends what you prefer them to do when you are in a depressive mood. Because everyone handle it different, everyone want to be treaten different. I was never really long depressed, so I didn’t experienced it myself, and I guess I was one of that “lucky ones” you mentioned before in your blog. Even when I lost my loving mom when I was 23 (because I don’t grief for the years she’s not with me, but I’m gratefull for the years and the moments she was in my life). I saw a lot in my work as nurse, people who are medically depressed (my grandma had that also) and are in a depression, you can never cheer up, not with words or with actions…… So I can understand your feeling, that you want to have some space at that time, what I hear also often from people who are depressed is that they want to be alone because the think else they will spoil the mood of the whole group. I’m blessed that I work in healthcare, I met so much people who are handicapted, had major accidents or multiple sclerosis (or other worse deseases), who are so full of life. I really saw worse medically cases passing by in the last 8 years, and that makes me realize (it’s my personal experience) that life is to short to let go fo it, and everything we do to make the world a little bit better, is definately not wasted. There is so much good to do in life, and don’t try to think to big, because the small gesters, make more difference then the big ones….. for example just a smile can let someone feel allready better 😉
    The give an example watch the movie “patch adams”, it’s about the inventor of the cliniclowns, I just love this movie!

    I hope you will feel one day better, and life can become your friend instead the enemy,



    • Thank you Daantje.
      I’ve seen the movie sometime ago. It’s a great movie about a wonderful human being.
      I see many wonderful people around me. More than in my previous – difficult – life.
      Still, I have to accept that depression is as much part of me as being excited or being in love is.
      I guess I suffer from what many artists and bohémiens suffer from. An emotionally guided heart and a vulnerable soul.
      It’s who I am and it’s sometimes hurtful but at the same time the very reason for my ability to create and hopefully the foundation for me to do even more than that, to create miracle.

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